Family on Screen: The Oldest Son
The traditional status of “family” has undergone significant changes during Korea’s rapidly changing modern history. Western values took hold during the reconstruction after the War, industrialization, urbanization, the financial crisis, the subsequent recovery of the economy and the recent rise of its pop culture paved way to the reemergence of a new form of nationalism borne out of self-interest to survive. Traditional relationships among the state, market, society, and family are constantly shifting, and the foundation of families shaken. It has become brutally clear that no one – not the government, society, or the market would take responsibility for families; to maintain a family, individuals need to survive on their own, and not to become a burden to other family members. An era of individualism, competition, and innovation has arrived as a worldwide phenomenon, not sparing Asia. In collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong, Asia Society Hong Kong Center will present 4 films selected from the Korean Film Archive that will provide a glimpse through Korean filmmakers’ lenses of some the factors pertaining to such a shift in family values in contemporary Korea. All films are in Korean with English subtitles, supplementary theme-related reading materials written by scholars and film critics will be provided at each screening.
The Oldest Son (1984 / Dir. Lee Don-Yong / 115 minutes)
Tae-yeong, the oldest son of a poor family is a manager at a computer company. His wife’s parents financially supported him to study.. Due to the construction of new dam in his hometown, Tae-yeong’s parents come to Seoul to live with him,. However, his wife does not feel comfortable living with his parents. the parents then move into their youngest son, Seon-yeong’s apartment. But the parents still feel lonely and dejected, unable to settle in the city. Tae-yeong decides to build a new house for his parents.
Supported by Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong